Night Train of Thought

May 2, 2014

“Craindre l’erreur et craindre la vérité est une seule et même chose.” (Fear of imprecision and fear of illumination are one and the same); Alexander Grothendieck

When physics ran up against the limits of measurement, they used mathematical artifice to make ‘uncertainty’ their central tenet. Mathematicians are inculcated to reject imprecision. Error is anathema to math.
Consequently, physics progressed in ‘quantum’ leaps & bounds while mathematics remains stolidly stochastic.
Meanwhile, clever math people polish ever-more intricate facets into its glittering edifice…
Why is there no exact information theory analogue of the Heisenberg principle?
How is it that physics has at its heart, a mathematical theory which can’t be applied to information, ostensibly because information isn’t an ‘observable’?
Is it merely because mathematics fails to fundamentally engage with temporal application of error & uncertainty?

Ramble or rationale?


5 Responses to “Night Train of Thought”

  1. Joseph Nebus Says:

    I’m not confident I’d say mathematics does reject imprecision or error. Much of analysis, for example, is built around the assumption that you can work with a function that’s within an acceptable error bound of the one you want, but which is easier to work with.


  2. Yes, for sure Joseph. As for incorporating error as a source of randomness? Not embraced so much? Thanks for the response,very much.


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